I feel as though I’ve inhaled five cups of espresso along with a plate of warm, chocolate-filled croissants!

I just got hired for my second online writing gig as an independent contractor! I’m starting to feel hopeful that a living might be earned with words.  It’s nearly impossible to keep myself from jumping ahead in my thought as I consider what it might be like to write full-time.  I see myself toting my laptop around the world from Miami to Milan with my husband as we travel for music, modeling, and acting jobs!  I have longed to be a part of the creative world that he belongs to and I wonder if this is my chance.  My current contracts call for about as much creativity as a script for an injury lawyer commercial but hey, it’s a start!  I can hone my craft just as easily on articles about auto insurance as I can on small works of fiction!

That Josiah is in an acting class this morning gives me a sense of happy anticipation.  A potential acting agent he spoke with last week signed him up to audit a class taught by an instructor who works with some pretty big names. The last time he took an acting class was in New York which resulted in an audition to be a fleeting love interest of Blake Lively’s character, Serena Van Der Woodsen, on “Gossip Girl.”

We ran lines together over the phone.  He had to stand in front of a bathroom mirror in a cramped NYC apartment he was crashing and I sat at home in Nashville on a couch that had become a NYC taxi.  I’d seen the episode of “Gossip Girl” that the casting director was using as a script for the audition, so I let myself  become Serena Van Der Woodsen (I know, we are SO similar in every way) and encouraged Josiah as he tried to say with ease the kinds of things he would never say in real life.

In preparation for his class this morning we watched “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.”  People in the entertainment industry are constantly asking Josiah to define who he is in reference to actors or musicians who have already found success.  Someone mentioned that he might pick up a few things from Robert Redford in his earlier years-maybe watch “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” or “The Natural.”  If someone asked me, I would say Josiah has the earnestness of Ryan Gosling, the wholesomeness of Harry Connick Jr., and the ability to surprise his audience as much as Leonardo DiCaprio.

It’s another perfect day in Southern California and I am feeling optimistic.

Heavy on the Sleaze…

“I’m very impatient,” I tell them conspiratorially but might as well have said, “I’m very important and don’t have time to wait like other people.”

I’ve noticed that sometimes I celebrate my flaws.  When I tell someone that I’m impatient or that I don’t like to wait it’s almost as though I’m proud of my inability to take a breath and wait my turn.  I think the reason behind this is that I equate impatience with action.  If I announce to someone that “I’m impatient” this means I have bigger and better things to do. I don’t wait for things to happen I make things happen.
I am very impatient to see what God  has in store for us in Los Angeles.
It’s pilot season here, which means serious actors will descend on the city for the next three months to audition for their big break.  A critical decision facing Josiah is what theatrical management company will represent him.
His modeling agents are in the process of setting-up interviews.  They scheduled a meeting this week with a manager with whom they have a good working relationship.  As Josiah prepared for the meeting, we asked God to reveal the manager’s character.
When he got home, Josiah told me that he felt immediately uneasy when he met the manager face-to-face, “He seemed cutthroat, said he clawed his way to the top and started his own company because he was tired of all the corporate bull-****,” and then a side note, “He was a bit on the sleazy side…”
In light of how we prayed, you’d think my initial reaction to Josiah’s impression of the guy was relief!  Instead, I felt a combination of disappointment, relief, and impatience!  Alright, so this guy was not for us-who was the next manager Josiah could interview? How was he going to start pilot season without a theatrical manager? Why hadn’t Josiah’s agency set another meeting already?  Had he called his modeling agency to tell them what he thought and what he wanted in a manager?
It’s exhausting being impatient.  But that’s what God’s word tells us through Isaiah, “Though youths grow weary and tired, And vigorous young men stumble badly, Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength” (New American Standard Bible, Isa 40:30-31).  God amazes me with his practicality on a daily basis.  I think that algebraic theorem if A, then B applies perfectly here!  If we persist in vigorously pursuing decisions out of our own knowledge and strength and abilities; we will stumble and wear ourselves out! If we ask God for guidance then stop revisiting the issue with our own plans; we will see God’s answers to our prayers without exhausting ourselves along the way.
Above: head-shots by S. Girard

Macaroni and Cheese

I’m having one of those, “nudge-nudge, push-push” moments as Josiah mouths the words, “I think we need to have him over for dinner” at me.  I nod soundlessly, which prompts my husband to say, “Yeah man,” into the phone, “Come on over.”  I’m working on part three of a final exam essay for my graduate level marketing class while monitoring the poor man’s soup Josiah and I have made for dinner; so my thoughts are everywhere.  My initial instinct is to let a twinge of frustration cross my face, but the thoughtful look on Josiah’s stops me.  It doesn’t matter if we have rock solid plans in place as of ten minutes ago or ten days ago.  That look means whatever just came up is happening.

We’re making a tasty but random soup that we lovingly call “poor man’s soup” because it’s what we eat when we get to the end of our grocery budget. It has morsels of things like ground turkey and left-over vegetables, all simmered down into chicken broth.  It’s the last thing I’d want to share with a guest, especially a person I’ve never met.  It’s ugly, it’s hodge-podge!  What kind of people will he think we are, serving-up the stuff?  Josiah would undoubtedly yell out, “Poor!  We’re poor!”  And I’d laugh and mimic him because it’s what we do when we feel a little tight on funds and don’t want the levity of whatever is looming over us to catch-up with our attitudes.  It usually happens at the grocery store when it would be nice to pick-up a few things that we don’t need.  Dessert usually triggers it for me.  “Babe, I really want to get this Tiramisu (pause for dramatic effect) but I won’t…because we’re POOR!”

It turns out that the friend Josiah invited over is a singer/songwriter who recently moved to Los Angeles.  The boys met each other at a gig they played on Sunset Boulevard a few months ago- before either of them made the move to L.A.

As we settle-in to talk, it doesn’t surprise me that the “nudge-nudge, push-push” sensation is from God.  The best way I can describe this guy from South Carolina is that his personality is as warm and straight-forward as a bowl of mac ‘n cheese!  He tells us point-blank that he needs encouragement from friends who are seeking God more than fame and knowing the “right” people.  Hearing him talk about his transition to L.A., I am reminded that no matter where I go or how uncertain I may feel in a new experience;  there is an immediate sense of being at home when I meet someone who believes in Christ as I do.